Letter: Commitment to Zero takes on a new meaning
Commitment to Zero is Vail Resorts’ mission statement (highlighted in a recent article in the Vail Daily) to have zero impact on the planet, the forests and wildlife. A worthy, noble and ethical vision. However, it is also exactly the same commitment that Vail Resorts has shown to the iconic herd of Bighorn Sheep that faces extinction from their enormous employee housing project — zero, absolutely zero. Zip, nil, nada.
Reputations are built not on what you say you are going to do or what the corporate mission statement is. No, they’re built on what you actually do. Vail Resorts is no more a defender of the natural habitat than the climate deniers are of our rapidly disappearing glaciers.
Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ CEO, claims that “The environment is our business.” If that actually is true, Rob, then please immediately do the right thing by our environment here in Vail and withdraw from building this egregious project in this location and sell the land to the town. You have other locations where you can put employee housing that does not impact the pristine habitat of our native sheep and endanger their future.
However, neither Katz nor Beth Howard, the new COO of Vail Mountain, have engaged with the community (another one of their supposed corporate values). Their employee on the town’s Planning and Environmental Commission, John-Ryan Lockman (who should have recused himself due to his conflict of interest) could have cited his company’s Commitment to Zero as a reason for voting down the project — but he did the opposite.
So there we have it — all talk and no action. A commitment to … zero. This, coupled with the hypocrisy shown by the town of Vail to its “stewardship of the environment” and the underhanded way that the piece of land was conveniently rezoned is why the fight to save our sheep and our commitment to saving our natural habitat with real action, not just empty words, must continue with vigor.